Ignacio's Cloe Seibel
Ignacio's Angela Herrera
Ignacio's Cloe Seibel (26) leaps into a jump-serve during the Volleycats' Friday, Sept. 27 home match versus Ridgway.
Ignacio's Angela Herrera (12) tries forcing a block back down through the net and on top of Ridgway's Ara Norwood (9) during the Volleycats' home match Friday, Sept. 27.
Photo Credit: Joel Priest | Special to the Drum
Photo Credit: Joel Priest | Special to the Drum
Thumbnail image of Ignacio's Cloe Seibel
Thumbnail image of Ignacio's Angela Herrera

Volleycats finish season sweep of Jays

Only the team’s pink jerseys, pulled from storage a couple days early to greet visiting Ridgway on Friday, Sept. 27, hinted that anything would be different for Ignacio volleyball against familiar foes in a three-match, month-ending weekend.

But as it turned out, the action virtually followed a pre-planned script. Fortunately, a second exciting defeat of Mancos – by 25-23, 25-23, 16-25, 25-22 scores – was included in all the 2A/1A San Juan Basin League action, but so was a first loss to Dolores and a second to the Lady Demons.

In which the scoring – RHS prevailed 25-17, 25-14, 25-23 – pace of play and end result were eerily similar to the teams’ meeting a week earlier (won 25-15, 14, 23 by RHS) up in Ridgway. But with a prepared Pink Digs for a Cure VII home crowd behind them, it appeared the Cats might turn the tables on the green-and-white.

But an early 5-3 lead in Game 1 was quickly reversed and head coach Thad Cano attempted to regroup his troops down 11-18 after a series of sketchy serves and other assorted errors. Ridgway sophomore Kaitlyn Rutherford ended the game with a service ace, and the Lady Demons took Game 2 when Ignacio’s Ellie Seibel put a tip shot into the net.

Still working to protect the IHS Gymnasium court, Ignacio fought RHS well beginning Game 3 and opened an optimistic 8-5 lead. But enjoying one of their best starts to a season in recent years, Ridgway recovered to move ahead, 9-8 on a Miel Diaz serve that floated long. The Cats, at last looking ready to make their guests truly work for anything they’d get, bounced back to go up 12-11 only to have Lady Demon soph Haley Crozier pound a kill to re-tie – setting the tempo for the rest of the stanza.

The next morning, Ignacio traveled for a triangular at DHS and managed to take Game 1 from Gina Hollen’s Lady Bears, 25-23, before losing the next three 16-25, 13-25 and 14-25. Diaz, looking more and more recovered from the concussion which kept her out of much of the Volleycats’ early-season engagements, smashed 13 kills in 25 attempts with only five errors.

With setter Cloe Seibel spreading around 25 assists, Angela Herrera finished with eight in 22, but the shots’ effectiveness was dulled by six errors. Defensively, Herrera led IHS with six digs, Diaz (three service aces) had four, and Chrystianne Valdez and Cortney Wilson-Baker each had three. Ellie Seibel totaled four blocks, three being solos, and Cook totaled two – but the duo produced just four kills in 18 combined attempts, with five errors.

Beating Brittany Lang’s Lady Jays in four, Diaz put up another strong line (17att-11k-4err) offensively, and matched Cloe Seibel (26 assists) with a team-high six service aces. Herrera hammered nine kills (against six errors) in 23 swings, and Cook and Amya Bison each put down four.

Herrera again led Ignacio (2-7, 2-6 SJBL) in digs, with five (Diaz followed with four) of the team’s 14 as Mancos again proved a tough out. Cook led with four total blocks and Ellie Seibel had three.

Entering the tri after four consecutive five-game matches, Dolores’ win over the Cats boosted their record to 7-3, 4-1, while MHS’s loss to IHS dropped them to 3-5, 3-3. Ridgway, meanwhile, was in the process of losing to sixth-ranked (Class 1A) Dove Creek but also defeating Ouray to improve to 8-3, 5-3.

The Cats were to next play a tri in Nucla against both the Lady Mustangs and Norwood Lady Mavericks on Friday, Oct. 4, but results were unavailable before the Drum hit distribution racks. DHS and OHS are then slated to visit Saturday, Oct. 5, before IHS begins a grueling stretch of six road matches.

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